Innovations & Sustainability Speakers

Vijayan K. Pillai, Ph.D.,FRSPH

Vijayan Pillai joined the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) School of Social Work as a tenured professor of social work in 1999.  He taught at the University of Zambia, Lusaka and at the University of North Texas before joining UTA.  He is a Fellow of Royal Society of Public Health.  He currently serves on the Ethics Committee of the American College of Epidemiology. Since 2009 he has edited the  journal ‘Social Development Issues’; a journal sponsored by the International Consortium for Social Development. He has published several books and journal articles in the areas of reproductive health, reproductive rights and fertility in Zambia. In 2016, he was awarded Distinguished Senior Scholar Presidential Award by International Consortium for Social Development (Asia-Pacific).  Professor Pillai has served on the board of several organizations in the  DFW area such as the South Asia Research and Information Institute  (SARII).

Untangling the relationship between reproductive rights and reproductive health

The purpose of our presentation is to address the micro level issues women in their day to day lives face with respect to her reproductive rights. We have broken down the presentation into three parts. The first part offers a general description of reproductive rights and a few related theories of rights. In the second part , we further probe into the various process involved in  utilizing knowledge of rights to actual  accessing of  desired resources necessary to preserve desired levels of rights (see above). In the third part, we argue that cross nationally, women’s reproductive health is influenced by the extent of women’s agency, the extent of participation by nongovernmental organizations, level of reproductive rights and level women’s capacity. Furthermore, we argue that reproductive rights mediated the effects of the rest of the variables. The unit of analysis is nation states in the less developed regions.

Doug Schuler, PhD

Doug Schuler is Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at Rice University’s Jones School of Business. Dr. Schuler’s research expertise is in business and government relations, corporate political activities, corporate social responsibility, and social enterprise. In the social enterprise area, he has recently collaborated on a study of organizations in the greater Houston area that address food insecurity. Dr. Schuler has also participated in a global health project where he developed devices to address challenges of the sterile processing of medical instruments in low-resources healthcare settings. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley.



Albert Huang, MD

Dr. Albert Huang is a physician that has done research at world class institutions and under leaders and innovators both in and out of surgery. He did his medical training first in San Antonio and then most recently in the Department of Surgery at Houston Methodist before he founded his company Allotrope Medical Inc in 2016. Since then, he has raised investor funding, built up a team, and has received accolades both in academic medicine (receiving Top Innovation during the 2017 SAGES conference earlier this year) as well as in the field of medtech through acceptance into the competitive Johnson & Johnson J-Labs innovation space, and placing second among 600 medical device companies from around the world during the prestigious Medtech Conference/Medtech Innovator competition.

The Challenges of Cost Effective Medtech Innovation

Moderator: Rachel Davis, MD

Seeing that there were gaps in contemporary general surgical education for those planning to practice in resource-limited settings, Dr. Rachel Davis envisioned and created the Baylor College of Medicine Global Surgery Track. Since 2014, she has worked with the BCM Department of Surgery to develop educational opportunities in global surgery for students, residents, and professionals. Now in her second year of Global Surgery Fellowship training, Dr. Davis has operated in Ecuador, Guatemala, Malawi, Mongolia, Nepal, and Tanzania, and has worked with Dr. Walt Johnson in the area of Emergency and Essential Surgery at the World Health Organization. She completed her MD at Baylor College of Medicine, and has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She directed the first two HGHC global health conferences and is a current member of the HGHC Board of Directors.